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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Michael Brown


An introduction to astronomy, in which physical ideas gained in first year Physics are developed and used to understand how data from the cosmos are obtained and interpreted. Laboratory work covering experimental techniques in astronomy involves individual and group activities. Topics include practical astronomy, remote sensing and observational techniques (including telescopes, detectors, space-based systems, IR, UV and X-ray astronomy) stars, radio astronomy.


At the completion of this unit, students should be able to: use the main concepts of positional astronomy to solve problems involving the celestial sphere, apparent motion, co-ordinate systems, time and navigation; use the standard nomenclature and solve simple problems concerning the orbits of the planets and satellites, including tides; describe the various telescope systems used in positional astronomy, together with their detection systems; summarise the methods of observational measurements made both from Earth and by space probes; detail the types of information available in different spectral bands (UV, VIS, IR, y, Radio); give an account of astronomical observations of the Sun and their astrophysical explanation; understand the observational properties of the stars, their correlations on the HR diagram, and their physical interpretation; understand the main ideas behind stellar evolution; describe the justification, methodologies and techniques of radio astronomy; interpret astronomical data, discuss and communicate in oral and written form.


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Written assignments: 16%
Laboratory: 34%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the laboratory component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr. Michael Brown

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lecture or tutorial classes per week and one 3-hour laboratory class per week


6 points of physics at first-year level


ASP2031, PHS2211